Saturday 13 February sees a new exhibition curated by Swindon media organisation, Create Studios, opening to the public at the town’s Steam Museum.
Digital Journeys explores the diverse journeys that brought people to Swindon, some arriving weeks ago, others having been here for generations – 175 years after the board of directors of the Great Western Railway famously chose to base his railway works in the green fields below the market town on a nearby hill in 1841.
Participants aged 9 to 90 from East Wichel School, Guinness Care Homes, Stratton Education Centre, the Harbour Project and the Oakfield Project amongst others, shared their personal stories and hopes for the future with the Create team. The stories were then further explored and presented through film, iPad technology and photography to create an affectionate and vibrant portrait of this extraordinary place, that is Swindon.
Shahina Johnson, Director of Create Studios, said: “We have been delighted by the response of people across Swindon to the opportunity of sharing their stories as part of Digital Journeys. The support from the Arts Council England and other funding partners has enabled this positive exhibition to be shared.”
Create Studios is an award-winning digital agency which uses media projects as a tool for drawing communities together, building skills and growing aspiration. The Create team also deliver commercial digital commissions (film, photography, web and apps) for regional and national partners to support its education priorities.
In the film, 37 people talked to filmmaker Gurchetan Singh about their journey to Swindon and what it means to them. The iPad app is a reflection of the 175 activity taken around the community where people chose 1 object that was special to them and their past, 7 people of places who had shaped their life and 5 hopes for the future.
Throughout photographer Elmar Rubio recorded the project for display in the exhibition, alongside a stylised skyline of Swindon that Elmar worked on with graphic artist Ashraf Ali, made up of the people who live in the town.
Create also collaborated with Squidsoup, a group of artists, researchers and designers to bring their interactive light installation ‘Enlightenment’ to feature in the exhibition. Squidsoup’s work has toured across the globe, and this is the first time their work has been exhibited in Swindon – even though some of the team live in the area.
Digital Journeys can be enjoyed by visitors to Steam Museum until 16 April 2016. Entry is free with a Steam Museum admission ticket.
A mini Digital Journeys exhibition will be mounted at Swindon Central Library between Tuesday 22 March and Saturday 9 April.
The exhibition is one of the first events in a year of Swindon175 celebrations. Find out more about what else is planned.